Thread: Does Anyone Actually Endorse Engels' Dialectic?

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  1. #321
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    Once more, I accept your capitulation -- that is, until you back-sass again...
    No one has capitulated one ounce to you. Argument ad nauseam doesn't mean you win.
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    GM:

    No one has capitulated one ounce to you. Argument ad nauseam doesn't mean you win.
    Yada, Yada...

    The bottom line is that you can't defend this mystical 'theory' of yours.

    No wonder: neither you nor anyone else understands it.
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    No wonder: neither you nor anyone else understands it.
    Since you admit that you don't understand it, why don't you just stop talking about it and stop turning the philosophy board into a contorted bizarre joke?
  4. #324
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    Well, it was written in 1920, when the revolution was beginning to fail.
    Hilarious. No 1:1 correspondence, but written in 1920 "when the revolution was beginning to fail." Except in 1920, that wasn't quite that obvious was it, with the intense level of class struggle going on in advanced countries. Good way to project your hindsight and present it as a "spirit of the times." Hindsight is exactly what I'd expect from an ass such as yourself.

    But here's a problem, Lukacs began this work in 1919. Mere technicality, I'm sure.

    You need to show where I go wrong; but you don't, you just call it 'speculative' -- when it is in fact based on Lenin's materialist analysis of what happens to revolutionaries in times of defeat, and Marx's analysis of the need for consolation -- and on a very clear pattern in the lives of great revolutionaries.
    Except we can say that very same thing about your interpretation, your claim to what Marx wrote in 1873, about the supposed extirpation of Hegel.

    And we might want to point out that some revolutionists produced their greatest theoretical/practical work during exactly those periods of defeat, coincident with their studies of Hegel, dialectics,-- even their oath of loyalty to dialectical materialism, to which they attribute the high quality of that work. So go argue with them. You and Chris have that seance and ask Trotsky if his analysis of the Spanish Civil War, of the fascist movement in Germany has any connection with materialist dialectics, and when he knocks twice on the table for "yes," tell him how wrong he is.

    Given that Dialectical Marxism is these days almost synonymous with long-term failure, all you mystics turn to this 'theory' (permanently) for consolation -- including you.
    Substitute the word Marxism for Dialectical Materialism and Boza's formulation fits neatly into the editorial page of The New York Times.

    In fact others of the "anti-dialectic" school did substitute Marxism for dialectical materialism.


    Not so; I have pointed out several times how Marx had pratted about with Hegelian jargon in the years before Das Kapital was written.
    So you have claimed. You have yet to show any error, mystification, substantive mistake due to this Hegelian influence in Marx's analysis of the labor process and the valorisation process although he explicitly refers to their dialectical relations, their contradictory existence as aspects of the same identity, etc. etc. etc.


    And then Boza launches into her typical "loop"-- coquette, waving good-bye, etcetcetc. which amount to the ravings of an idiot.
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  6. #325
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    GM:

    Since you admit that you don't understand it, why don't you just stop talking about it and stop turning the philosophy board into a contorted bizarre joke?
    All I have admitted is that I am in no better nor no worse state than anyone else, since I claim no one understands this 'theory' -- and you have done little to dispel the gloom.

    Of course, you can always shut me up by being the first person in over 150 years to explain it clearly...
  7. #326
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    Smarty Pants:

    Hilarious. No 1:1 correspondence, but written in 1920 "when the revolution was beginning to fail." Except in 1920, that wasn't quite that obvious was it, with the intense level of class struggle going on in advanced countries. Good way to project your hindsight and present it as a "spirit of the times." Hindsight is exactly what I'd expect from an ass such as yourself.
    There are no 1:1 correspondences even in physics, so why you require an historical hypothesis to exceed even the accuracy of physical science is rather odd. 1:1 correspondences only occur in formal systems. But since you know nothing of these, that probably explains your crass ignorance.

    But here's a problem, Lukacs began this work in 1919. Mere technicality, I'm sure.
    Not so. One anomaly never refutes an hypothesis. For example, modern versions of the Standard Model predict the galaxies should rotate much slower than they in fact do -- and that is why physicists have had to invent 'dark matter' to account for this.

    As I point out in the full version, there are exceptions to this rule, but the pattern is quite clear despite this. The pattern is in fact predictable from Lenin's analysis.

    Except we can say that very same thing about your interpretation, your claim to what Marx wrote in 1873, about the supposed extirpation of Hegel.
    You could say this -- indeed you continually do, but we have yet to see your proof.

    And we might want to point out that some revolutionists produced their greatest theoretical/practical work during exactly those periods of defeat, coincident with their studies of Hegel, dialectics,-- even their oath of loyalty to dialectical materialism, to which they attribute the high quality of that work. So go argue with them. You and Chris have that séance and ask Trotsky if his analysis of the Spanish Civil War, of the fascist movement in Germany has any connection with materialist dialectics, and when he knocks twice on the table for "yes," tell him how wrong he is.
    The point is not that they started theorising only in times of defeat, but that they typically began to seek consolation in mysticism at such times. And, you are right, many of the greatest theoretical works were published when you say, but I defy you to find much dialectics in them. Again, the greatest works of dialectics, which stand alone (Engels's 'Anti-Dühring', Lenin's 'Materialism and Empirio-Criticism' and his 'Notebooks', Trotsky's 'In Defence of Marxism', and so on), were produced exclusively at such times, as Lenin's analysis predicts.

    And what little 'dialectics' turns up in such great works can easily be edited out with no loss -- the jargon they use does no work.

    In fact, I defy you to show otherwise.

    Historical materialism certainly looms large in such books, but that theory is scientific, so you'd expect it to

    Substitute the word Marxism for Dialectical Materialism and Boza's formulation fits neatly into the editorial page of The New York Times.
    Indeed, and that's the only way you can make your criticisms work -- by altering what I say so it suits your agenda. In fact, you have been doing that since you staggered in here at RevLeft last year.

    Anyway, as I have asked you before; perhaps you can point to a major success Dialectical Marxism has enjoyed in the last 40 or 50 years?

    Here is how I have made this point in Essay Ten Part One:

    Nevertheless, as it turns out, past events do give clear testimony --, unfortunately for DM-fans, they speak of the long-term failure of DIM.

    [DIM = Dialectical Marxism; DM = Dialectical Materialism.]

    Hence, dialecticians would be well advised to avoid using practice as a test of the correctness of their theory.

    When a list is constructed of all the successes that 'our side' has enjoyed over the last 150 years or so it soon becomes obvious that it is depressingly short. Worse: our successes are easily out-numbered by our failures. A shortened list of both is given below.

    Failures:

    (1) The Revolutions of 1848.
    (2) Paris, 1871.
    (3) Russia, 1905.
    (4) Ireland, 1916-21.
    (5) United Kingdom, 1919.
    (6) Hungary, 1919.
    (7) Italy, 1919.
    (8) Germany, 1918-23.
    (9) China, 1926.
    (10) United Kingdom, 1926.
    (11) Spain, 1936-39.
    (12) France, 1936.
    (13) E.Germany, 1953.
    (14) Hungary, 1956.
    (15) Poland, 1956.
    (17) Czechoslovakia, 1968.
    (18) Italy, 1969-70.
    (19) Chile, 1972.
    (20) Portugal, 1974.
    (21) Nicaragua, 1979-90.
    (22) Iran, 1978-79.
    (23) Poland, 1980.
    (24) Palestine, 1987-88.
    (25) China, 1989.
    (26) Eastern Europe, 1989-90.
    (27) France, 1968, 1995.
    (28) Indonesia, 1998-99.
    (29) Serbia, 2000.
    (30) Argentina, 2000-02.
    (31) Countless large and small strikes.
    (32) The Stop the War Movement, 2002-09. (Equivocal so far.)
    (33) Hundreds of rebellions, insurrections, uprisings and indigenous movements.
    (34) Scores of national liberation, anti-imperialist and civil wars.
    (35) All four Internationals; the Fifth has already split!
    (36) Reformism, Centrism, Stalinism, Maoism, Orthodox Trotskyism.
    (37) Sectarianism. The Sparts!
    (38) Trade union bureaucracy, modern Social-Democratic Parties.

    Successes:

    (1) Russia, 1917. (Major success, later undermined and then reversed.)
    (2) Countless strikes. (Rate of exploitation merely re-negotiated.)
    (3) Revolutionary wars of national liberation; e.g., China 1949, Cuba 1959, Vietnam, 1945-75. (All deflected or reversed.)
    (4) In the UK: the Anti-Nazi League and successor organisations. (Major success, so far.)
    (5) The UK Anti-Poll Tax campaign. (Partial success.)
    (6) Numerous popular and anti-imperialist movements; e.g., Venezuela 2002-10, Bolivia 2003-10, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004-05, Nepal 2006, Lebanon 2006-07, Iran 2009/10, Kyrgyzstan 2010, Thailand 2010. (All either partial, deflected, or it's too early to tell.)
    (7) Limited democratic and other assorted reforms. (Many now being reversed.)
    (8) Seattle 1999 and the Anti-Globalisation Movement. (Rapidly petering out.)
    (9) The UK Stop the War Coalition, and the International Anti-War Movement, 2002-08. (Equivocal and/or petering-out.)
    (10) In the UK: Respect -- after a promising start, in October/November 2007 it has now split! That probably means this entry is in the wrong section. [Similar developments in the rest of Europe.]

    Naturally, this does not mean that we can't explain all the set-backs, defeats, catastrophes, screw-ups, tragedies and disasters that have plagued the labour and socialist movement over the last 150 years. But, if we insist on making practice a test of the truth of revolutionary socialism, we would surely have abandoned Marxism years ago, since our failures greatly outnumber our successes.

    Also worthy of note is the relatively massive scale of the defeats our side has suffered compared to the modest and temporary gains made in the last 150 years. For example, the catastrophic blow delivered to our side by the failure of just two revolutions (e.g., those in Germany and Spain between 1918 and 1939) far outweigh all our successes combined, and by several orders of magnitude.

    It could be argued that the above list is highly prejudicial since it is padded out with dozens of failures that not only pre-date revolutionary Marxism, but also with those that have nothing to do with 'Materialist Dialectics'.

    But, if these are filtered out -- along with the corresponding successes enjoyed by these non-revolutionary Marxist movements -- the list would be even more depressing!
    More details here:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%20010_01.htm

    So, over to you; what precisely have you mystics got to crow about?

    So you have claimed. You have yet to show any error, mystification, substantive mistake due to this Hegelian influence in Marx's analysis of the labor process and the valorisation process although he explicitly refers to their dialectical relations, their contradictory existence as aspects of the same identity, etc. etc. etc.
    Where did I use the word 'error' in this regard?

    And then Boza launches into her typical "loop"-- coquette, waving good-bye, etcetcetc. which amount to the ravings of an idiot.
    Prompting you to reply with another 'loop' into abuse.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 5th October 2010 at 20:25.
  8. #327
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    Fortunately, there is very little dialectics in Trotsky's masterpiece, which is why it is so great.
    Oh, so did he simply switch from dialectical materialism to another method of analysis more suited to your tastes? But surely not! Afterall, he'd just been kicked out of the Soviet Union. This was one of the darkest periods of his life, only surpassed by what followed it. He must have been looking for consolation in this period, surely! And what better crutch to lean on than the old loony dialectics!

    Oddly convenient that Trotsky is only a dialectician when you don't like what he's written.

    Any serious analysis of the History finds that this work is thoroughly dialectical, and rests on the classical Marxist tradition. Which would be a contradiction, if we were to believe you; unfortunately for you, no serious historian or critic does or ever has.

    (Isn't it funny that all this anti-dialectics nonsense is coming from Rosa only in the last- going off memory, so don't quote me on this- decade or so? ie, in a period of serious decline for the Marxist movement, a decine that has only very recently shown signs of turning around? Perhaps Rosa is just looking for comfort and consolation in all this mysticism and lunacy?)
  9. #328
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    Fact-Hating-Communist:

    Oh, so did he simply switch from dialectical materialism to another method of analysis more suited to your tastes? But surely not! After all, he'd just been kicked out of the Soviet Union. This was one of the darkest periods of his life, only surpassed by what followed it. He must have been looking for consolation in this period, surely! And what better crutch to lean on than the old loony dialectics!
    Well, you claimed it was an example of the use of this wacko 'theory' of yours, when it turns out not to be! And the theory Trotsky does in fact use is Historical Materialism [HM] -- so, no, he didn't suddenly switch. Indeed, his best work uses HM to analyse capitalism, etc.

    Oddly convenient that Trotsky is only a dialectician when you don't like what he's written.
    No odder than the fact that most people only dislike, say, Newton when he was engaged in Alchemy, Biblical Numerology and Hermetic Philosophy (which is, may I remind you, the Philosophy Hegel also used in his work).

    The mystical guff you dote upon added nothing to Trotsky's analysis -- in fact, it led him astray, since he used this 'theory' of yours to 'prove' that the fSU was a degenerated workers' state (something you should accept if you accept Trotsky's method), and to 'justify' Stalin's invasion of Finland.

    Are you going to defend this use of 'the dialectic' method? I think not.

    As my previous two long answers to you showed, this wonderful 'theory' of yours can be, and has been used to 'prove' anything you like, and its opposite. Other than, say, Zen Buddhism (whose adepts also accept the 'unity of opposites' and the fact that everything is 'contradictory'), this 'theory' of yours is the only one in the entire course of human history (unless you know of another?) that permits those whose brains it has colonised to argue for anything they like, and its opposite. So, it's a gift to substitutionists, opportunists, counter-revolutionary 'Marxists' and class collaborators of every stripe.

    No wonder, then, that is has presided over little other than failure for 140+ years. [See my reply to Artesian, above.] If truth is indeed tested in practice, I think we can all draw the obvious conclusion.

    Any serious analysis of the History finds that this work is thoroughly dialectical, and rests on the classical Marxist tradition. Which would be a contradiction, if we were to believe you; unfortunately for you, no serious historian or critic does or ever has.
    So you mystics keep saying, but when you are put on the spot and asked for an actual example where this 'theory' of yours has been used in the way you say, you either go very quiet, or you offer us books like Trotsky's History, which turns out not to use this 'theory'.

    (Isn't it funny that all this anti-dialectics nonsense is coming from Rosa only in the last- going off memory, so don't quote me on this- decade or so? ie, in a period of serious decline for the Marxist movement, a decline that has only very recently shown signs of turning around? Perhaps Rosa is just looking for comfort and consolation in all this mysticism and lunacy?)
    In fact, as your (Australian) comrade Eric Petersen pointed out in his excellent book The Poverty Of Dialectical Materialism (Red Door, 1994), there have been anti-dialectical revolutionaries almost since the beginning. The problem is that they have always encountered the same irrational and emotional response you (and the vast majority of mystics at RevLeft and elsewhere) display when your ideas are challenged. Many of these anti-dialecticians thus can't publish their ideas in the revolutionary press (so much for the democratic exchange of ideas!), or they are ostracised and forced out of the movement -- or, they are imprisoned and shot (if they lived in 'Communist' countries).

    In fact, I have been an anti-dialectician since the early 1970s, when the movement was in the ascendancy. Moreover, I have been working on my essays since the early 1980s, and in detail since 1998. They only appear now since I was reluctant to post them on the internet until they were complete, but one or two (Marxist) comrades persuaded me to publish them.

    Perhaps Rosa is just looking for comfort and consolation in all this mysticism
    Find one -- just one -- example of mysticism in my work, or my posts here (or elsewhere), and I will eradicate it, and apologise profusely.

    Go on, big mouth -- put some facts where your lies now are.

    and lunacy
    As I said, all you mystics can produce in defence of your 'theory' is abuse.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 5th October 2010 at 20:36.
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    [QUOTE} Fact-Hating-Communist: [/QUOTE]

    You're convinced that the emotive responses you recieve are based on some irrational attachment to DM. Infact, it's rather more based on crap like this. Before I first came into this discussion, I read a few posts of yours, and you could almost guarantee that it would take no more than a few lines before you started name-calling and slinging abuse. And before you say, "They started it!", that's no excuse. If you're so much better than the majority of people on this site, you should behave that way.

    I have no pretensions in this regard, and jumped in gleefully slinging the occasional abusive joke, come what may. But I'm not even close to convinced that we'll ever change your mind (If you really are convinced that a single word in a second edition postface is evidence that Marx totally rejected Hegel, you've already gone off the deep-end); I, and I suspect greymouser and S.Artesian and others aswell, are posting for the benefit of any wavering new-comer who happens to stumble across one of your threads. But if you want to change our minds, the worst thing you could possibly do is what you are doing; all it looks like to the rest of us is that it is infact you that has the irrational attachment to your ideas, which is hardly going to instill confidence in any but the least intelligent. Whether you started it or not- and it's so far back that that can't be confirmed- that's how it looks.

    Worse still is your constant invasion of every discussion board that so much as mentions dialectics. There, it goes from an irrational attachment to an obsession. You'll never find me making more than the occasional troll post on, for example, a libertarian website, or a fascist website, or a fundamentalist religious website.

    One last thing; your essays. We complain of their length, but it's not the length that's the real problem (though it does compound the problem). It's the self-righteous tone, and, again, constant abuse-slinging. Calling us mystics every now and then is all just part of polemics; but finding a way to insert it into almost every single essay...? Again, desperate and obsessive.

    It's just advice, take it or leave it.

    Picking apart of the rest of the post to come later.
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  12. #330
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    Fact-Hating-Communist:

    You're convinced that the emotive responses you receive are based on some irrational attachment to DM.
    The more you post, the more obvious this becomes.

    So, please keep posting.

    Infact, it's rather more based on crap like this.
    Ah, yet more scatological language, which is why I posted this a while back:

    How Not To Argue 101

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/RevLeft.htm

    The above page contains links to forums on the web where I have 'debated' this creed with other comrades.

    For anyone interested, check out the desperate 'debating' tactics used by Dialectical Mystics in their attempt to respond to my ideas.

    You will no doubt notice that the vast majority all say the same sorts of things, and most of them pepper their remarks with scatological and abusive language. They all like to make things up, too, about me and my beliefs.

    25 years (!!) of this stuff from Dialectical Mystics has meant I now take an aggressive stance with them every time -- I soon learnt back in the 1980s that being pleasant with them (my initial tactic) did not alter their abusive tone, their propensity to fabricate, nor reduce the amount of scatological language they used.

    So, these days, I generally go for the jugular from the get-go.

    Apparently, they expect me to take their abuse lying down, and regularly complain about my "bullying" tactics.

    So, these mystics can dish it out, but they cannot take it.

    Given the damage their theory has done to Marxism, and the abuse they all dole out, they are lucky this is all I can do to them.
    You:

    Before I first came into this discussion, I read a few posts of yours, and you could almost guarantee that it would take no more than a few lines before you started name-calling and slinging abuse. And before you say, "They started it!", that's no excuse. If you're so much better than the majority of people on this site, you should behave that way.
    So, you lot can dish it out, but I must take it lying down, and be all sweetness and light in return, eh?

    Well, I always give as good as I get, often worse.

    If you don't like it -- tough.

    I have no pretensions in this regard, and jumped in gleefully slinging the occasional abusive joke, come what may.
    As I pointed out above, as soon as I get a whiff of abuse these days, I go straight for the jugular. 25 years of this from you mystics is quite enough, thank you very much.

    But I'm not even close to convinced that we'll ever change your mind (If you really are convinced that a single word in a second edition postface is evidence that Marx totally rejected Hegel, you've already gone off the deep-end); I, and I suspect greymouser and S.Artesian and others swell, are posting for the benefit of any wavering new-comer who happens to stumble across one of your threads. But if you want to change our minds, the worst thing you could possibly do is what you are doing; all it looks like to the rest of us is that it is infect you that has the irrational attachment to your ideas, which is hardly going to instil confidence in any but the least intelligent. Whether you started it or not- and it's so far back that that can't be confirmed- that's how it looks.
    Ditto with you, too -- but, the difference between us is that you lot do not have any sound arguments with which to back up your mystical ideas.

    Now, the Postface can be read several ways; however, I make my case and defend it -- but what I get in return from you lot is abuse. Even so, my argument with respect to Marx and 'the dialectic' represents about 0.0001% of my case against your 'theory'. And, I take the line I do on this in order to absolve Marx from any involvement in this sub-logical 'theory' of yours. If it should turn out that I'm wrong, and Marx did indeed intend to say what you mystics allege, then that will only reflect badly on him. My demolition of dialectics will not be affected by that.

    Worse still is your constant invasion of every discussion board that so much as mentions dialectics. There, it goes from an irrational attachment to an obsession. You'll never find me making more than the occasional troll post on, for example, a libertarian website, or a fascist website, or a fundamentalist religious website.
    This is an open discussion forum. If they do not want me to attack their ideas, members know what to do -- don't mention dialectics. If and when they do, I will be in there like a shot.

    I was in fact invited here to do just this.

    Get used to it, or don't...

    Now, if this smacks of 'obsession' to you, then all I can say is that you are the sort of person who -- had you been around in the 1860s, say -- would have accused Marx of being 'obsessed' with capitalism and its overthrow.

    If that is what defending one's ideas amounts to, then sign me up as an obsessive, please!

    One last thing; your essays. We complain of their length, but it's not the length that's the real problem (though it does compound the problem). It's the self-righteous tone, and, again, constant abuse-slinging. Calling us mystics every now and then is all just part of polemics; but finding a way to insert it into almost every single essay...? Again, desperate and obsessive.
    Have you read some of Marx, Engels and Lenin's polemic? They make me look like a shrinking violet.

    Here is why I have adopted this tone (had you bothered to read it before you put your foot in your mouth -- it's in the opening Essay of my site):

    Several other features of these Essays will strike the reader as rather odd: (1) Their almost exclusively negative, if not unremittingly hostile, tone; (2) their quasi-dialectical structure (where the word "dialectical" is to be understood in its older, classical sense); (3) the total absence of any alternative philosophical theses; (4) their length; and finally, (5) their analytic, if not relentless style.

    The first two of these are not unrelated. Although I have endeavoured to construct as comprehensive a case against DM as I am capable of producing, I have also sought to raise objections to my own criticisms at almost every stage. While this strategy has been adopted to test my ideas to the limit, it has also been of some use in trying to make DM comprehensible.

    To that end, the reader will find that many issues have been raised here for the first time ever. Core DM-theses have been examined in unprecedented detail, most of them from a completely novel angle. It is a sad reflection of the mental paralysis induced in those who -- in Max Eastman's words -- "suffer from dialectics" that such key ideas have escaped detailed attention for over a hundred years, but it is nonetheless accurate for all that.

    Even if it should turn out that this project is misconceived in some way, it succeeds in breaking entirely new ground, as readers will soon discover. In fact, should DM-supporters engage fairly with the content of this site -- even if they remain of the same opinion by the end --, they will find that their own ideas will emerge strengthened because of the entirely novel challenges advanced in this work.[1]

    As was alleged earlier, it is the opinion of the present author that DM has contributed in its own not insignificant way to DIM's spectacular lack of success. It is an alarming fact that of all the major political ideologies and/or movements in history, DIM is perhaps the least successful. The role that DM has played in helping to engineer this disastrous state of affairs partly accounts for the persistently negative (if not openly hostile) tone adopted here.[2]

    [DM = Dialectical Materialism; DIM = Dialectical Marxism.]

    If revolutionaries genuinely wish to change the world by assisting in a successful working-class revolution (and I certainly count myself among those who do), then the sooner this alien-class ideology (DM) is excised the better.

    In that case, if the main ideas presented here are correct, then it is clear that DM has helped cripple the revolutionary movement almost from the beginning. Because of that, those who insist on clinging to this regressive doctrine (for whatever reason) risk extending this abysmal record of failure into this new century.

    Unfortunately, it is far from clear whether either the planet or humanity can take another hundred years of Capitalism. Indeed, one more protracted cycle of DM-induced failure could mean that even fewer workers will take Marxism seriously --, or, what amounts roughly to the same thing: live to tell the tale in anything remotely resembling a civilised society.

    Items (3) and (5) in the above list are rather different, though. From time to time readers will find themselves asking the following question of the author: "Well, what's your theory then?" No alternative philosophical theory will be advanced here (or anywhere else for that matter). This tactic has not been adopted out of cussedness -- or even out of diffidence --, but because it is an important part of the Wittgensteinian method (employed here) not to advance philosophical theories. Wittgenstein's approach means that no philosophical theory makes any sense. Why this is so will be considered at length in Essay Twelve Part One. [Objections to the use of his ideas are neutralised here.]

    As far as (5) is concerned, those who are unfamiliar with Analytic Philosophy might find the overall style of these Essays somewhat disconcerting, if not entirely deflationary. Nevertheless, the analytic method produces clear results. Anyone who takes exception to this way of doing Philosophy (or who is happy to leave their head in the sand) can simply log off this site now. I have no wish to wake you up.

    Item (4) also needs explaining. The length of these Essays has been determined by two factors: the nature of DM itself and the attitude of its supporters.

    All of the major -- and the vast majority of the more minor -- DM-theses have been subjected to extensive criticism in this work; because of DM's totalising approach to knowledge it can be vanquished in no other way. Had a single topic been left with only superficial injuries -- and not fatally wounded -- its supporters might easily have imagined it could be revived. Had even one of DM's theoretical strands been left intact -- because of the alleged interconnections that exist between each and every one of its parts -- the temptation would have been to conclude that if one element is viable, the rest must be, too. Hence, the extraordinary length of each Essay is partly the result DM's holistic character itself, and partly because few of its supporters have ever bothered to analyse this theory to any great extent -- certainly not in the detail found here.

    Those who still think these Essays too long, should compare them with the work of, say, Marx, whose writings easily dwarf my own. I have, however, attempted to summarise my main criticisms of DM in three Essays of decreasing length and complexity, here, here and here.

    Finally, even though many of the arguments presented in these Essays are in my view definitive, genuine knock-down arguments in Philosophy are exceedingly rare and hard to find. In that case, readers will have to make up their own minds as to whether or not I am alone in judging them this way.

    --------------------

    [1] Not much chance of that, though! In fact, up to now, after 25 years, I can count the number of comrades who have engaged fairly with me (that is, without them descending into abuse, fabrication or slander) on the fingers of a severely mutilated hand.

    It is worth recalling, however, that according to the 'theory' under review here, no theoretical progress can be made except through internally-generated contradictions -- i.e., in this case, those contradictions conjured up by someone inside the movement, one presumes. Once again, that is why these Essays should be welcomed by the DM-faithful --, but it is also why they won't.

    The problem with dialecticians is that they do not (or perhaps cannot) recognize the glaring contradictions in their own theory (or they brush them aside with what I have elsewhere called the "Nixon defence" -- on that see Essay Eight Part One).

    As far as change is concerned, this can only mean that either (1) their theory can't develop (that is, according to their own theory of change, it can't if it has no 'internal contradictions'), or that (2) if they refuse to examine the contradictions I have found, their theory of change must be defective, since that can only mean that such 'internal contradictions' do not in fact change anything.

    But, if their theory of change is wrong, then they can safely ignore any contradictions I point out, including this one!

    Of course, if DM cannot change (presumably this will be because, for the first time in history, human beings have invented a theory with no internal contradictions), that implies it is absolutely true, and Lenin's claim that all knowledge is relative and incomplete is itself mistaken!

    Whichever way we turn here, core DM-theses take a sizeable hit.

    In that case, DM-theorists should welcome the many contradictions I have found in their theory, even if only to save it from such easy refutation!

    Unfortunately, however, that particular option will sink their theory even faster! Why that is so is explored in Essay Seven.

    [2] It is worth underlining yet again the fact that I am not blaming all our ills on dialectics, since comrades who read these words still persist in thinking that I am doing just this no matter how many times they are told the opposite! What I am doing is claiming that this 'theory' is partly responsible for the long-term failure of DIM.

    [The extent to which I think that this is the case is detailed in Essay Nine Part Two.]
    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2001.htm
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 8th October 2010 at 01:20.
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    The response post to my complaints about Rosa's tone and "argument" style(read: insane stringing together of words in a vaguely academic way) having been little more than a few paragraphs of the usual, I will proceed to do as promised and pick apart the rest of the post #328.

    Though, actually, there is one line of new interest:

    This is an open discussion forum. If they do not want me to attack their ideas, members know what to do -- don't mention dialectics. If and when they do, I will be in there like a shot.
    Now, when I was a child in primary school back in little old Melbourne, there was a distinct tendency among my fellow students to repeat, over and over, the phrase: "It's a free country!" They would say it when someone asked them to move, however politely or for whatever reason; when someone asked them to stop bullying them; when someone asked them to give back the ball they stole so they could continue to play their game, and so on. Infact, I found, and still find to this day, that the only people who ever seem to say this, "It's a free country!", or the equivalent, here, "this is an open discussion forum," are those who are engaging in anti-social behaviour and don't want to stop, as Rosa here, or who are attempting to impose their will on someone else, or both, as in the case of most politicians.

    It is one thing to make your case, and even make it forcefully. It is quite another to constantly intrude on discussion boards where your imput is neither wanted nor needed, and ends up pushing the discussion dramatically off-topic.

    Anyway-

    Well, you claimed it was an example of the use of this wacko 'theory' of yours, when it turns out not to be! And the theory Trotsky does in fact use is Historical Materialism [HM] -- so, no, he didn't suddenly switch. Indeed, his best work uses HM to analyse capitalism, etc.
    Oh, I see. So it's HM when it is undeniably a brilliant work, and one which you have to declare agreement with in order to remain a Trotskyist, but it's DM when it's something you think you can get away with picking a fight over. All makes sense now.

    And I suppose Trotsky's own opinion on the matter counts not one iota? As S. Artesian has already said, I suggest you go get a psychic, talk to Trotsky's ghost, and, when he says that it was indeed DM that he was employing in the History aswell as other important works, proceed to tell him exactly why he's wrong. Correct his opinion of his opinion, as it were.

    The mystical guff you dote upon added nothing to Trotsky's analysis -- in fact, it led him astray, since he used this 'theory' of yours to 'prove' that the fSU was a degenerated workers' state (something you should accept if you accept Trotsky's method), and to 'justify' Stalin's invasion of Finland.

    Are you going to defend this use of 'the dialectic' method? I think not.
    a) This conclusion- that the fSU was a degenerated workers' state- was a dialectical position based only on certain assumptions; ie, that there had been no counter-revolution (Trotsky compares the idea that this is possible to 'reformism in reverse'), that the bureaucracy was not a class, but rather a layer, or caste, and, last but not least, the idea that Capitalism isn't Capitalism unless it is private- an idea not based on dialectics, but on assumptions inherent in Trotksy's life experience of fighting Capitalism as private property.

    So, like science, like formal logic, in dialectics, what you can prove and disprove depends entirely on the data you put in and the assumptions you hold. Science can be used to prove something and it's opposite quite easily- depending on who is doing the testing, the quality of the tests, and the biases and prejudices of the scientists involved. One conclusion or another is not disprovable based solely on the scientific method in abstract, but based on the basic assumptions and quality of the tests done, and the reliability of the data involved.

    b)
    The politics of the Soviet Union is guided by the Bonapartist bureaucracy. This bureaucracy is first and foremost concerned with its power, its prestige, its revenues. It defends itself much better than it defends the USSR. It defends itself at the expense of the USSR and at the expense of the world proletariat. This was revealed only too clearly throughout the entire development of the Soviet-Finnish conflict. We cannot therefore either directly or indirectly take upon ourselves even a shadow of responsibility for the invasion of Finland which represents only a single link in the chain of the politics of the Bonapartist bureaucracy.
    It is one thing to solidarize with Stalin, defend his policy, assume responsibility for it – as does the triply infamous Comintern – it is another thing to explain to the world working class that no matter what crimes Stalin may be guilty of we cannot permit world imperialism to crush the Soviet Union, reestablish capitalism, and convert the land of the October revolution into a colony. This explanation likewise furnishes the basis for our defense of the USSR. (Trotsky, Balance Sheet of the Finnish Events, April 1940)
    Trotsky 'justified' the invasion of Finland on the basis of the USSR defending itself against Hitler. This was based to a large extent on the idea that the USSR was a degenerated workers' state; however, as is demonstrable by his comparison with Norway and Assyria (Ethiopia) in the same text as quoted above, the 'justification' is not dependent on this. The Finland invasion is considered an act of self-defence against a regime that would stifle class-struggle for long into the future, and set back the position of the world-proletariat further and further.

    Whether one actually agrees with this analysis, one has to agree that the only trace of dialectic which his 'justification' depends on is the position that world society is divided into hostile classes- is internally contradictory.

    As my previous two long answers to you showed, this wonderful 'theory' of yours can be, and has been used to 'prove' anything you like, and its opposite. Other than, say, Zen Buddhism (whose adepts also accept the 'unity of opposites' and the fact that everything is 'contradictory'), this 'theory' of yours is the only one in the entire course of human history (unless you know of another?) that permits those whose brains it has colonised to argue for anything they like, and its opposite. So, it's a gift to substitutionists, opportunists, counter-revolutionary 'Marxists' and class collaborators of every stripe.
    Here, a little lesson in dialectics is neccesary. This is as much for Rosa's benefit as anyone else's; perhaps she'll come to grips with the subject, after all this time (decades, apparently).

    Okey-doke. So, for starters, dialectics is not a study of things as they are so much as things as they change. This is central for understanding dialectics; it is about things in their motion, change. What's more, it is a study of systems; being a study of things in motion, things which change, it is also an understanding that things, in the long term, do not lack internal differentation; so, an atom is not just an atom, it is an internally differentiated system of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and anything else physicists may have discovered in the five minutes since I last checked.

    Now, the word 'contradiction' is flung around a lot in dialectics. Rosa likes to pick on this, in her own pedantic way; so I'll use terms that I think sum it up much better; internal conflict, or opposition. Things are understood as a unity of conflicting elements, an unstable equilibrium of these conflicting forces. (The word 'contradiction' comes up because these opposing forces are usually opposites of each other; for example, a capitalist, who owns the means of production, etc, is the opposite of a worker, who does not, who recieves a wage, etc). This internal conflict (whatever form that conflict may take- in most historical examples, for example, it is the conscious conflict of opposing classes, political ideologies, armies, political parties, etc, but in most natural examples, it is the 'conflict' of forces which simply have opposing tendencies; forward motion vs friction, for example) is what drives change or movement, in a variety of ways, but generally describable in terms of quantity into quality, negation of the negation, etc.

    It is these two notions- internal conflict and change- which allow dialectical thought to understand things which are both true and contradictory, something that formal logic is incapable of (formal logic can be used to demonstrate that these things are true, can acknowledge this truth, but cannot explain how it could possibly be true). So, for example:

    The emancipation of the working class must be the act of the workers themselves. (Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program)
    The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, ie, the class which is the ruling material force of society... (Karl Marx, The German Ideology)
    Now, this isn't necessarily the best example, because it is not a contradiction in what Marx actually said, but rather a contradiction found in reality; but I figured, what with all the fuss about Marx supposedly not being a dialectician, this would be instructive.

    So, at any given time, the ruling ideas, ie, the ideas that are most common and most accepted in society, are the ideas of the ruling class. The majority of people accept these ideas on one level or another; Capitalism could not survive a day otherwise. Yet, the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the workers themselves; no other force is capable of overthrowing Capitalism. Obviously there is a contradiction here; workers are the only ones that can overthrow Capitalism, yet the ruling ideas will prevent them from overthrowing Capitalism until they overthrow Capitalism. How do we get out of this contradiction? Obviously via the class struggle (conflict between opposing forces, contradiction) producing situations like wage cuts, police attacking strikes, etc, which force workers to change their ideas, and shift the balance of forces- ie, to change society. (You can see where I'm going here- conflict between opposites driving change as the only way out of the ruling ideas/self-emancipation contradiction). The Party features here aswell, and would be a useful eample for quantity into quality and the negation of the negation, but isn't totally necessary.

    No wonder, then, that is has presided over little other than failure for 140+ years. [See my reply to Artesian, above.] If truth is indeed tested in practice, I think we can all draw the obvious conclusion.
    Except that there is nothing on your list which has infact be caused by dialectics. Not a single thing. There are plenty of revolutions and so forth that have failed because of the lack of a Party; there's Russia, the massive positive example, which was overturned not by dialectics, but by the material poverty of the country and growth of the bureaucracy; there's China and plenty of third-world nationalist/'Communist' movements which have been hijacked because the middle-class intellectual Stalinist parties had killed the Trotskyists and genuine dialecticians and taken control (or, if I want to be fair to the Orthodox Trots, continue as semi-ambiguous victories to this day); and so on and so forth.

    But, to come at it from the other direction- what if, in Germany, in China 1927, and a range of other examples, the advice of that nasty dialectician Trotsky had been taken seriously? His advice was explicitly based on dialectics- yet, had it been taken, there's little doubt that this argument would be totally unnecessary, because we would all be living in a socialist world-society today.

    Many of these anti-dialecticians thus can't publish their ideas in the revolutionary press (so much for the democratic exchange of ideas!)
    a) So, what you're saying is that a revolutionary party should just allow anyone to publish anything in their press, no matter how far from the basics of the Party it may be? While we're at it, we aught to invite comrades influenced by bourgeois liberalism to publish articles on why the workers' state should never make use of violence, or by idealism to explain to us all why all we have to do is have the right ideas in order to win power and change society.

    Anti-dialectics has practical consequences, consequences you obviously have not seriously thought about. Think on the example of the self-emancipation/ruling-ideas bind.

    b) Bogdanov, immeidately following the defeat of the 1905 revolution. His popularity, and his rejection of dialectics, and indeed materialism in general, had very serious practical consequences. Would you say it is a bad thing that he was isolated by Lenin and then kicked out?

    or you offer us books like Trotsky's History, which turns out not to use this 'theory'.
    (Read: She doesn't want to actually deal with the content of these works, and dodges the question entirely by simply asserting that they are HM-, not DM-based works. We've seen this in the arguments over Capital, so we shouldn't be surprised about her total inability to actually engage with the texts).

    Find one -- just one -- example of mysticism in my work, or my posts here (or elsewhere), and I will eradicate it, and apologise profusely.

    Go on, big mouth -- put some facts where your lies now are.
    This is practically every time Rosa puts finger to keyboard over dialectics. I gave my short sketch of dialectical theory above, and others have done likewise in the past- but Rosa would rather deal with straw-men and deliberately obscure- one could say 'mystify'- the question to her own benefit. She complains that dialectics is an obscure, difficult-to-comprehend philosophy- when she herself deliberately makes it that way.
    Last edited by Freedom-Hating Communist; 7th October 2010 at 11:55. Reason: spelling mistakes.
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  15. #332
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    Fact-Hating-Communist:

    Now, when I was a child in primary school back in little old Melbourne, there was a distinct phenomenon among my fellow students to repeat, over and over, the phrase: "It's a free country!" They would say it when someone asked them to move, however politely or for whatever reason; when someone asked them to stop bullying them; when someone asked them to give back the ball they stole so they could continue to play their games. In fact, I found, and still find to this day, that the only people who ever seem to say this, "It's a free country!", or the equivalent, here, "this is an open discussion forum," are those who are engaging in anti-social behaviour and don't want to stop, as Rosa here, or who are attempting to impose their will on someone else, or both, as in the case of most politicians.
    And yet, if you look back, whenever I have started anti-dialectical threads, you will see that you mystics jump straight in. I don't see you having a go at them.

    It is one thing to make your case, and even make it forcefully. It is quite another to constantly intrude on discussion boards where your input is neither wanted nor needed, and ends up pushing the discussion dramatically off-topic.
    I've had that complaint directed at me since I arrived here five years ago -- I was invited here specifically to give you mystics a hard time. The more you moan the more I know I am doing my job.

    I'm not going to change. As I said, get used to it or don't.

    Oh, I see. So it's HM when it is undeniably a brilliant work, and one which you have to declare agreement with in order to remain a Trotskyist, but it's DM when it's something you think you can get away with picking a fight over. All makes sense now.
    Well, what do you expect me to do? Give you someone else's opinion?

    Trotsky's arguments are demonstrably poor when it comes to his writings specifically on DM. [If you don't believe me, check this out.]

    By way of contrast, his other writings vary from the very good to the brilliant.

    The same applies to, say, Newton. His scientific and mathematical works are brilliant. His other stuff is woefully poor.

    Of course, you are welcome to come to your own opinions on Trotsky's writings about this 'theory', but then you will not be able to defend them successfully here.

    Go on, start a thread on, say, Trotsky's crass analysis of the 'law of identity' as see what happens...

    And I suppose Trotsky's own opinion on the matter counts not one iota?
    Newton happened to think his work on Alchemy, Biblical Numerology and Hermetic Philosophy was far more important than his science -- in fact he spent 3/4s of his time on this guff. But, does that mean we should adopt the same view toward his odd beliefs? Same with Trotsky.

    As S. Artesian has already said, I suggest you go get a psychic, talk to Trotsky's ghost, and, when he says that it was indeed DM that he was employing in the History as well as other important works, proceed to tell him exactly why he's wrong. Correct his opinion of his opinion, as it were.
    Newton also thought his odd ideas informed his work. Does Smarty Pants suggest we set up a séance and contact Newton's 'ghost' to see what he thinks about our rejection of 3/4s of his work?

    I shouldn't need to remind you that unless Trotsky was a deity of some sort, we should treat his work like we do any other great writer/revolutionary. Accept what makes sense to us and reject the rest as merely of biographical interest -- whatever opinion he himself had of his mystical ruminations.

    a) This conclusion- that the fSU was a degenerated workers' state- was a dialectical position based only on certain assumptions; ie, that there had been no counter-revolution (Trotsky compares the idea that this is possible to 'reformism in reverse'), that the bureaucracy was not a class, but rather a layer, or caste, and, last but not least, the idea that Capitalism isn't Capitalism unless it is private- an idea not based on dialectics, but on assumptions inherent in Trotsky's life experience of fighting Capitalism as private property.

    So, like science, like formal logic, in dialectics, what you can prove and disprove depends entirely on the data you put in and the assumptions you hold. Science can be used to prove something and it's opposite quite easily- depending on who is doing the testing, the quality of the tests, and the biases and prejudices of the scientists involved. One conclusion or another is not disprovable based solely on the scientific method in abstract, but based on the basic assumptions and quality of the tests done, and the reliability of the data involved.
    Except, you miss out a crucial component of this 'theory' of yours: the use Trotsky (and all the rest) make of 'contradictions'. That allowed him to argue that the 'contradictory' nature of the fSU meant that it could be a workers' state (albeit degenerated) even though the working class was denied political power! Hence, it made perfectly good 'dialectical' sense to him that in a workers' state (where one would expect the working class to hold political power) workers could be denied political power. He couldn't have obtained that absurd conclusion had it not been for this 'theory'. It is a key component in his argument. [See below.]

    And, of course, the very same 'theory' allowed others to argue that the FSU was state capitalist (even though there were no capitalists), or a new form of class society, or that the working class was 'really' in control (the contradiction between appearances and reality resolved 'dialectically').

    So, like science, like formal logic, in dialectics,
    Not so, since in logic it is well known that from a contradiction, anything (and it 'opposite') can be derived, which is precisely what we see in 'dialectics'.

    And, apart from certain areas of Quantum Mechanics [QM], contradictions aren't permitted in science. [Anyway, I reject the claim that those areas of QM are contradictory, but we can discuss that in another thread.]

    So, your 'theory' is nothing like logic or science.

    But, what about this:

    Science can be used to prove something and it's opposite quite easily- depending on who is doing the testing, the quality of the tests, and the biases and prejudices of the scientists involved. One conclusion or another is not disprovable based solely on the scientific method in abstract, but based on the basic assumptions and quality of the tests done, and the reliability of the data involved.
    1. Can you give an actual example?

    2. Even if you can, scientists do not accept both results as true -- unlike dialecticians, who do.

    The point is that the very same dialectician will use this 'theory' to prove that both A and not A are the case. Another will then use it to show that B and not B is true. This never happens in science -- other than in controversial areas of QM -- but I deny they do that even there. And even if I am wrong about QM, this is not typical in science, whereas it is ubiquitous in dialectics.

    In logic and mathematics, we use contradictions in 'indirect proof', and 'Reductio ad Absurdum'. We assume for the purposes of an argument that, say, P (which we believe to be false) is true. Then, along with other assumptions we validly derive a contradiction. Since no contradiction can be true, and we want to hang on to validity and to those other assumptions, we can thus reject P as false. This was used over 2000 years ago by the Pythagoreans to show that the square root of two was irrational.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_root_of_2

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/reductio/

    But, no sane mathematician will derive the conclusion that both P and not P are true -- but that is what happens in dialectics all the time.

    And that is why I said this 'theory' of yours is almost totally unique in human history. It allows the very same dialectician to 'justify' anything he/she likes and its opposite.

    Trotsky 'justified' the invasion of Finland on the basis of the USSR defending itself against Hitler. This was based to a large extent on the idea that the USSR was a degenerated workers' state; however, as is demonstrable by his comparison with Norway and Assyria (Ethiopia) in the same text as quoted above, the 'justification is not dependent on this. The Finland invasion is considered an act of self-defence against a regime that would stifle class-struggle for long into the future, and set back the position of the world-proletariat further and further.
    I agree, but he could only sell this to his followers on the basis of the allegedly 'contradictory' nature of the fSU. Remove that assumption, and his argument falls apart.

    Whether one actually agrees with this analysis, one has to agree that the only trace of dialectic which his 'justification' depends on is the position that world society is divided into hostile classes- is internally contradictory.
    Well, the quotations I added here say that there was far more than a 'trace'.

    Here are the relevant sections of his In Defence Of Marxism again:

    Is it possible after the conclusion of the German-Soviet pact to consider the USSR a workers' state? The future of the Soviet state has again and again aroused discussion in our midst. Small wonder; we have before us the first experiment in the workers' state in history. Never before and nowhere else has this phenomenon been available for analysis. In the question of the social character of the USSR, mistakes commonly flow, as we have previously stated, from replacing the historical fact with the programmatic norm. Concrete fact departs from the norm. This does not signify, however, that it has overthrown the norm; on the contrary, it has reaffirmed it, from the negative side. The degeneration of the first workers' state, ascertained and explained by us, has only the more graphically shown what the workers' state should be, what it could and would be under certain historical conditions. The contradiction between the concrete fact and the norm constrains us not to reject the norm but, on the contrary, to fight for it by means of the revolutionary road.... (p.3)

    The events did not catch us unawares. It is necessary only to interpret them correctly. It is necessary to understand clearly that sharp contradictions are contained in the character of the USSR and in her international position. It is impossible to free oneself from those contradictions with the help of terminological sleight-of-hand ('workers' state' -- 'not workers' state'). We must take the facts as they are. We must build our policy by taking as our starting point the real relations and contradictions.... (p.24)

    "It is not surprising that the theoreticians of the opposition who reject dialectic thought capitulate lamentably before the contradictory nature of the USSR. However the contradiction between the social basis laid down by the revolution, and the character of the caste which arose out of the degeneration of the revolution is not only an irrefutable historical fact but also a motor force. In our struggle for the overthrow of the bureaucracy we base ourselves on this contradiction.... (p.69)

    "A vulgar petty-bourgeois radical is similar to a liberal 'progressive' in that he takes the USSR as a whole, failing to understand its internal contradictions and dynamics. When Stalin concluded an alliance with Hitler, invaded Poland, and now Finland, the vulgar radicals triumphed; the identity of the methods of Stalinism and fascism was proved. They found themselves in difficulties however when the new authorities invited the population to expropriate the landowners and capitalists-they had not foreseen this possibility at all! Meanwhile the social revolutionary measures, carried out via bureaucratic military means, not only did not disturb our, dialectic, definition of the USSR as a degenerated workers' state, but gave it the most incontrovertible corroboration. Instead of utilizing this triumph of Marxian analysis for persevering agitation, the petty-bourgeois oppositionists began to shout with criminal light-mindedness that the events have refuted our prognosis, that our old formulas are no longer applicable.... (pp.70-71)

    "Tomorrow the Stalinists will strangle the Finnish workers. But now they are giving -- they are compelled to give -- a tremendous impulse to the class struggle in its sharpest form. The leaders of the opposition construct their policy not upon the 'concrete' process that is taking place in Finland, but upon democratic abstractions and noble sentiments.... (p.74)
    Bold emphases and underlining added.

    You will note that Trotsky tells us this:

    We must build our policy by taking as our starting point the real relations and contradictions...
    And:

    In our struggle for the overthrow of the bureaucracy we base ourselves on this contradiction
    So, everything he argued about Finland (and much else) was based on dialectics.

    And he castigated any who disagreed with him, since they were rejecting dialectics:

    It is not surprising that the theoreticians of the opposition who reject dialectic thought capitulate lamentably before the contradictory nature of the USSR. However the contradiction between the social basis laid down by the revolution, and the character of the caste which arose out of the degeneration of the revolution is not only an irrefutable historical fact but also a motor force. In our struggle for the overthrow of the bureaucracy we base ourselves on this contradiction.... (p.69)

    "...Burnham and Shachtman themselves demonstrated that their attitude toward such an 'abstraction' as dialectical materialism found its precise manifestation in their attitude toward the Soviet state.... (pp.61-62)

    Last year I was visited by a young British professor of political economy, a sympathizer of the Fourth International. During our conversation on the ways and means of realizing socialism, he suddenly expressed the tendencies of British utilitarianism in the spirit of Keynes and others: 'It is necessary to determine a clear economic end, to choose the most reasonable means for its realization,'. I remarked: 'I see that you are an adversary of dialectics.' He replied, somewhat astonished: 'Yes, I don't see any use in it.' 'However,' I replied to him, 'the dialectic enabled me on the basis of a few of your observations upon economic problems to determine what category of philosophical thought you belong to -- this alone shows that there is an appreciable value in the dialectic.' Although I have received no word about my visitor since then, I have no doubt that this anti-dialectic professor maintains the opinion that the USSR is not a workers' state, that unconditional defense of the USSR is an 'out-moded' opinion.... If it is possible to place a given person's general type of thought on the basis of his relation to concrete practical problems, it is also possible to predict approximately, knowing his general type of thought, how a given individual will approach one or another practical question. That is the incomparable educational value of the dialectical method of thought.... (pp.62-63)
    So, we can guess what he'd say to those of us who regard the FSU as State Capitalist!

    Indeed, it's what his 'orthodox' followers do say:

    A schematic system of thought which only operates in black and red and which is the prisoner of outrageously simplistic abstractions incapable of handling the categories of 'transition', of combined and uneven development' and of 'contradictory reality'. In other words, such thought is undialectical. [Mandel (1990), p.54; Mandel and Sheppard (2006), pp.28-29. Bold emphases added.]
    Mandel, E. (1990), 'A Theory Which Has Not Withstood The Test Of The Facts', International Socialism 49, pp.43-64, reprinted in Mandel and Sheppard (2006), pp.16-38.

    Mandel, E., and Sheppard, B. (2006), 'State Capitalism'. A Marxist Critique Of A False Theory (Resistance Books).

    Here is Ted Grant:

    In the transition from one society to another, it is clear that there is not an unbridgeable gulf. It is not a dialectical method to think in finished categories; workers' state or capitalist state and the devil take any transition or motion between the two. It is clear that when Marx spoke of the smashing of the old state form in relation to the Commune, he took it for granted that the economy would be transformed at a greater or lesser pace and would come into consonance with the political forms. We will see later in relation to Eastern Europe that Cliff adopts the same formalistic method....

    Thus, one can only understand class society if one takes into account the many-sided dialectical inter-dependence and antagonisms of all the factors within it. Formalists usually get lost in one or other side of the problem....

    The whole contradiction, a contradiction within the society itself and not imposed arbitrarily -- is in the very concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat. If one considers the problem in the abstract, one can see that this is a contradictory phenomenon: the abolition of capitalism yet the continuation of classes. The proletariat does not disappear. It raises itself to the position of ruling class and abolishes the capitalist class....

    ...To abstract one side must lead to error. What is puzzling about the Russian phenomenon is precisely the contradictory character of the economy. This has been further aggravated by the backwardness and isolation of the Soviet Union. This culminates in the totalitarian Stalinist regime and results in the worst features of capitalism coming to the fore -- the relations between managers and men, piece-work, etc. Instead of analysing these contradictions Comrade Cliff endeavours as far as possible to try and fit them into the pattern of the 'normal' laws of capitalist production....

    This whole formalistic method is the fatal weakness of Cliff's case. It would have been impossible for Trotsky in the early stages to deal with the problem in the abstract. He had to deal with the concrete situation and give a concrete answer. But the further degeneration posed the problem in an entirely different way. Once it had been established that it was impossible to reform the Stalinist party, that it was impossible to reform the Soviet state (we assume that Cliff also believes this was the task since up to 1928 since he says Russia was a degenerated workers' state), then the question had to be viewed in a somewhat different light. It is foreign to the Marxist method to search for isolated contradictions, real or apparent. What is required is an examination of a theory in its broad general development, in its movement, and its contradictions.... [Ted Grant. Bold emphases added.]
    More to follow...
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 8th October 2010 at 01:24.
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    Fact-Hating-Communist:

    Here, a little lesson in dialectics is necessary. This is as much for Rosa's benefit as anyone else's; perhaps she'll come to grips with the subject, after all this time (decades, apparently).

    Okey-doke. So, for starters, dialectics is not a study of things as they are so much as things as they change. This is central for understanding dialectics; it is about things in their motion, change. What's more, it is a study of systems; being a study of things in motion, things which change, it is also an understanding that things, in the long term, do not lack internal differentiation; so, an atom is not just an atom, it is an internally differentiated system of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and anything else physicists may have discovered in the five minutes since I last checked.
    In fact, I have had to endure this 'lecture' here many times (and I have read it in books and articles more times than you have had hot dinners). Alas for you and your mystical chums, I have shown that if what you say is true, change would be impossible:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...9&postcount=30

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...0&postcount=31

    Now, the word 'contradiction' is flung around a lot in dialectics. Rosa likes to pick on this, in her own pedantic way; so I'll use terms that I think sum it up much better; internal conflict, or opposition. Things are understood as a unity of conflicting elements, an unstable equilibrium of these conflicting forces.
    Again, I have shown that this can't work:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...7&postcount=37

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...7&postcount=38

    (The word 'contradiction' comes up because these opposing forces are usually opposites of each other; for example, a capitalist, who owns the means of production, etc, is the opposite of a worker, who does not, who receives a wage, etc). This internal conflict (whatever form that conflict may take- in most historical examples, for example, it is the conscious conflict of opposing classes, political ideologies, armies, political parties, etc, but in most natural examples, it is the 'conflict' of forces which simply have opposing tendencies; forward motion vs friction, for example) is what drives change or movement, in a variety of ways, but generally describable in terms of quantity into quality, negation of the negation, etc.
    Once more, why are these 'contradictions'? You just help yourself to this word without any supporting argument.

    In fact, all you have done is (uncritically) appropriate this word from Hegel, who derived his use of it from a series of crass logical blunders, where he confused the supposed negative form of the 'law of identity' with the 'law of non-contradiction'. I have summarised his errors here:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...1&postcount=66

    They are exposed in much more detail here:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2008_03.htm

    So, unless you can show where I have gone wrong, your attempt to make this terminally obscure 'theory' of yours clear has failed.

    It is these two notions- internal conflict and change- which allow dialectical thought to understand things which are both true and contradictory, something that formal logic is incapable of (formal logic can be used to demonstrate that these things are true, can acknowledge this truth, but cannot explain how it could possibly be true). So, for example:
    Unfortunately for you, not only would 'dialectical logic' make change impossible (unless, of course, you can show where my argument goes wrong), formal logic can cope with change quite nicely, thank you.

    So, it's clear from what you say that you too have copied a few nostrums from books and articles on dialectics and that you have plainly failed to check whether what they say is true of a single book on logic!

    As I have said at my site:

    Dialecticians tell fibs about Formal Logic [FL]; indeed, they regularly say things like the following:

    "Formal logic regards things as fixed and motionless." [Rob Sewell.]

    "Formal categories, putting things in labelled boxes, will always be an inadequate way of looking at change and development…because a static definition cannot cope with the way in which a new content emerges from old conditions." [Rees (1998), p.59.]

    "There are three fundamental laws of formal logic. First and most important is the law of identity....

    "…If a thing is always and under all conditions equal or identical with itself, it can never be unequal or different from itself." [Novack (1971), p.20.]
    However, I have yet to see a single quotation from a logic text (ancient or modern) that supports such allegations -- certainly dialecticians have so far failed to produce even one.

    And no wonder: it's completely incorrect.

    FL uses variables -- that is, it employs letters to stand for objects, processes and the like, all of which can and do change.

    This handy device was invented by the very first logician we know of (in the 'West'): Aristotle (384-322BC). Aristotle experimented with the use of variables approximately 1500 years before the same tactic was extended into mathematics by Muslim Algebraists, who in turn employed them several centuries before French mathematician and philosopher, René Descartes (1596-1650) introduced them in the 'west'.

    Engels himself said the following about that particular innovation:

    "The turning point in mathematics was Descartes' variable magnitude. With that came motion and hence dialectics in mathematics, and at once, too, of necessity the differential and integral calculus…." [Engels (1954), p.258.]
    Now, no one doubts that modern mathematics can handle change, so why dialecticians deny this of FL -- when it has always used variables -- is therefore something of a mystery.
    More details here:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2004.htm

    Now, this isn't necessarily the best example, because it is not a contradiction in what Marx actually said, but rather a contradiction found in reality; but I figured, what with all the fuss about Marx supposedly not being a dialectician, this would be instructive.
    But it's not even a contradiction!

    It would be had Marx said the following:

    The emancipation of the working class must and must not be the act of the workers themselves.
    Or:

    The ideas of the ruling class are and aren't in every epoch the ruling ideas, ie, the class which is the ruling material force of society... (Karl Marx, The German Ideology)
    Mercifully, he wasn't so stupid.

    FHC:

    So, at any given time, the ruling ideas, ie, the ideas that are most common and most accepted in society, are the ideas of the ruling class. The majority of people accept these ideas on one level or another; Capitalism could not survive a day otherwise. Yet, the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the workers themselves; no other force is capable of overthrowing Capitalism. Obviously there is a contradiction here; workers are the only ones that can overthrow Capitalism, yet the ruling ideas will prevent them from overthrowing Capitalism until they overthrow Capitalism. How do we get out of this contradiction? Obviously via the class struggle (conflict between opposing forces, contradiction) producing situations like wage cuts, police attacking strikes, etc, which force workers to change their ideas, and shift the balance of forces- ie, to change society. (You can see where I'm going here- conflict between opposites driving change as the only way out of the ruling ideas/self-emancipation contradiction). The Party features here swell, and would be a useful example for quantity into quality and the negation of the negation, but isn't totally necessary.
    You say 'obviously', but it is far from 'obvious'! It does not even look like a contradiction.

    The rest of what you say is no less dogmatic and a priori. You seem quite happy to impose these odd ideas on nature and society, in defiance of these dialectical worthies:

    "Finally, for me there could be no question of superimposing the laws of dialectics on nature but of discovering them in it and developing them from it." [Engels (1976) Anti-Duhring, p.13. Bold emphasis added.]
    "Dialectics and materialism are the basic elements in the Marxist cognition of the world. But this does not mean at all that they can be applied to any sphere of knowledge, like an ever ready master key. Dialectics cannot be imposed on facts; it has to be deduced from facts, from their nature and development…." [Trotsky (1973), The Problems of Everyday Life, p.233. Bold emphasis added.]
    "A consistent materialism cannot proceed from principles which are validated by appeal to abstract reason, intuition, self-evidence or some other subjective or purely theoretical source. Idealisms may do this. But the materialist philosophy has to be based upon evidence taken from objective material sources and verified by demonstration in practice...." [Novack (1965) The Origins of Materialism, p.17. Bold emphasis added.]
    FHC:

    Except that there is nothing on your list which has infect be caused by dialectics. Not a single thing. There are plenty of revolutions and so forth that have failed because of the lack of a Party; there's Russia, the massive positive example, which was overturned not by dialectics, but by the material poverty of the country and growth of the bureaucracy; there's China and plenty of third-world nationalist/'Communist' movements which have been hijacked because the middle-class intellectual Stalinist parties had killed the Trotskyists and genuine dialecticians and taken control (or, if I want to be fair to the Orthodox Trots, continue as semi-ambiguous victories to this day); and so on and so forth.
    Did I say it had been? But, if you hold onto the opinion that truth is tested in practice, the conclusion is pretty clear.

    But, what can you point to as a success? In fact, as the list shows, there is precious little to boast about.

    But, to come at it from the other direction- what if, in Germany, in China 1927, and a range of other examples, the advice of that nasty dialectician Trotsky had been taken seriously? His advice was explicitly based on dialectics- yet, had it been taken, there's little doubt that this argument would be totally unnecessary, because we would all be living in a socialist world-society today.
    In fact, his advice was based on Historical Materialism, not on dialectics.

    Or, you have yet to show it was...

    Certainly, where he screwed up, it was based on this 'theory' of yours.

    [Recall what he argued about the fSU, and the invasion of Finland?]

    a) So, what you're saying is that a revolutionary party should just allow anyone to publish anything in their press, no matter how far from the basics of the Party it may be? While we're at it, we aught to invite comrades influenced by bourgeois liberalism to publish articles on why the workers' state should never make use of violence, or by idealism to explain to us all why all we have to do is have the right ideas in order to win power and change society.
    Where did I say 'just anyone'?

    Anti-dialectics has practical consequences, consequences you obviously have not seriously thought about. Think on the example of the self-emancipation/ruling-ideas bind.
    Eh?

    What 'practical consequences' has anti-dialectics got other than to free Dialectical Marxism of this Hermetic 'theory'?

    But you argue as follows:

    b) Bogdanov, immediately following the defeat of the 1905 revolution. His popularity, and his rejection of dialectics, and indeed materialism in general, had very serious practical consequences. Would you say it is a bad thing that he was isolated by Lenin and then kicked out?
    Well, Bogdanov was trying to sell another a priori and dogmatic theory. I am not.

    And, there are far more dialecticians who are counter-revolutionaries/anti-Marxists than there are who are revolutionaries -- namely the Stalinists. So, if we go by numbers, and by political influence (and 'success'!), this 'theory' of yours is a far greater enemy of Marxism than any anti-dialectician could ever be.

    (Read: She doesn't want to actually deal with the content of these works, and dodges the question entirely by simply asserting that they are HM-, not DM-based works. We've seen this in the arguments over Capital, so we shouldn't be surprised about her total inability to actually engage with the texts).
    Are you addressing me, or your tiny band of mystical acolytes?

    My answer: Read: you do not want to actually tell us what the dialectical content of Trotsky's great book is -- since there is precious little.

    You (not me!) made the original claim that this book was an example of the use of this 'theory', so it's up to you to defend that claim or withdraw it.

    This is practically every time Rosa puts finger to keyboard over dialectics.
    As I said, find one example, and you have failed to do so. If I allegedly do this every time I use a keyboard, there should be over 14000 examples here at RevLeft alone for you to quote. But you don't, you just repeat the same old lie.

    As I noted earlier:

    How Not To Argue 101

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/RevLeft.htm

    The above page contains links to forums on the web where I have 'debated' this creed with other comrades.

    For anyone interested, check out the desperate 'debating' tactics used by Dialectical Mystics in their attempt to respond to my ideas.

    You will no doubt notice that the vast majority all say the same sorts of things, and most of them pepper their remarks with scatological and abusive language. They all like to make things up, too, about me and my beliefs.

    25 years (!!) of this stuff from Dialectical Mystics has meant I now take an aggressive stance with them every time -- I soon learnt back in the 1980s that being pleasant with them (my initial tactic) did not alter their abusive tone, their propensity to fabricate, nor reduce the amount of scatological language they used.

    So, these days, I generally go for the jugular from the get-go.

    Apparently, they expect me to take their abuse lying down, and regularly complain about my "bullying" tactics.

    So, these mystics can dish it out, but they cannot take it.

    Given the damage their theory has done to Marxism, and the abuse they all dole out, they are lucky this is all I can do to them.
    So, and once more; put some facts where your lying mouth is.

    Oh, sorry, you don't do facts do you...?

    I gave my short sketch of dialectical theory above, and others have done likewise in the past- but Rosa would rather deal with straw-men and deliberately obscure-
    Ok, find one 'straw man'.

    But, you prefer vague accusations and smears, don't you?

    one could say 'mystify'- the question to her own benefit.
    Ok, let's see one example where I do this?

    Your silence speaks volumes.

    She complains that dialectics is an obscure, difficult-to-comprehend philosophy- when she herself deliberately makes it that way.
    In what way do I do this?

    Yet more silence...

    In fact, you lot do a pretty good job without my alleged assistance.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 8th October 2010 at 01:35.
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    For Boza, the "dialectic" that she so despises is nothing more than a philosophical system, a self-contained logic, even if it's a flawed logic. Thus she can say that Marx's explicit references, identification, explanations of the contradictions of capital cannot be contradictions of capitalism at all because... capitalism, as a social system, is not an argument, it can have no logic.

    And from there it's so easy to get to the point where Boza says Marx describing labor as the contradiction to capital is not a contradiction at all, and it's even easier to say, Marx's conclusions regarding capitalism cannot amount to an expression, a manifstation of those contradictions.

    And from there... oh, Marx must have been "kidding" in his use of the word contradiction, because Boza doesn't want to say she's not a Marxist.

    So... Marx stating that the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself is not a contradiction to capitalism. To be a contradiction it would have to be phrased as "the emancipation of the working class is an is not the act of the working class itself."

    What Boza's "critique" lacks is, above all else, materialism, that is to say.... history. That history is the history of Marx's own critique of Hegel, and the actual history of the organization of labor under capitalism.

    The emancipation of the workers by the workers-- the movement, transformation of the class in itself, to a class for itself, is a contradiction to capitalism based on the historical terms of the organization of labor, where every labor. of the laborers is expropriated, alienated, possessed, and converted into the reproduction of that relation which.... well which furthers expropriation, estrangement [in the material, not psychological, sense] and the accumulation of private property. Here in the self-emancipation of the workers we have a collective social labor of the laborers that stands in direct conflict, antagonism, contradistinction, contradiction to the very essence of the existing social relations of production.

    It's oh so easy, once you jettison history, once you jettison the basis for Marx's analysis, the social labor process, to say "dialectical logic" is an oxymoron, is a contradiction itself, does not conform to the world [that exists only in Boza's mind] of "X is and is not Y." It's oh so easy because there is no logic, no necessary organization, no materialism to capital an its functioning. Everything at issue becomes an issue of language; an issue of the terms used to describe something. So Boza thinks she's being quite clever and logical when she substitutes the non-word "schmontradiction" for contradiction, because the description of the contradictions of capital does not conform to the description of contradiction in her logic.

    And from there Boza maintains that it is impossible for those who find her "logic" to be a bit out of correspondence with history to actually defend "dialectics." But of course we do not defend "dialectics" as such. We defend Marx's analysis of capitalism, of his exposition of capitalism's own material logic. We defend Marx's analysis that that material logic is in the social organization of labor; that that social organization is based on the opposition between labor and the conditions of labor-- the separation of the producers from the means of production; that that separation creates a contradiction where the more wage-labor produces, the less productive, useful, enriching labor is to the laborers; that the separation creates a contradiction where the expropriation of labor power and its conversion into accumulated capital creates the impediments, the obstacles, the barriers, and the extirpation of value, of accumulated capital. We defend the Marx's analysis of the contradictions of capital as Marx described them as contradiction. We defend Marx's analysis of the contradictions creating the basis, and the necessity, for the abolition of capitalism, an abolition based on capital's own identity. We defend Marx's dialectic.

    When Boza says we can't defend "this mystical theory," she is right and she is wrong. We can't defend a mystical theory. We aren't defending a mystical theory. We aren't defending a mystical theory at all, and we can defend Marx's use of dialectic. We engage in that defense every time we analyze, explain the relations between capital and wage-labor; every time we explore the actual processes of accumulation; every time we explain, demonstrate, the antagonism at the root of surplus value. And it's no mystery, and no mistake, that Boza refuses to engage in any part of those arguments. To do say would take her out of her hermetic cage and subject her to the criticism of the merciless logic contained within capital itself.

    She will of course produce tables of the "defeats" she ascribes to "dialectical materialism" everything from the Paris Commune to Argentina 2000-2002, as if "dialectical materialism" as a theory, as a "philosophy had the slightest thing to do with those actions and those defeats. But she will not engage with any analysis of the material circumstances that precipitated the struggles, and the actual relations of classes, and the organization of classes, that led to both momentary victories followed by significant defeats.

    Which is why she is so completely irrelevant. And so completely unMarxist.
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    Smarty Pants, once again, neglecting to quote me, preferring invention instead (By the way, am I still an 'irrelevance'?):

    For Boza, the "dialectic" that she so despises is nothing more than a philosophical system, a self-contained logic, even if it's a flawed logic. Thus she can say that Marx's explicit references, identification, explanations of the contradictions of capital cannot be contradictions of capitalism at all because... capitalism, as a social system, is not an argument, it can have no logic.
    Where did I say it has a 'self-contained logic'? In fact, it has no logic at all.

    And from there it's so easy to get to the point where Boza says Marx describing labor as the contradiction to capital is not a contradiction at all, and it's even easier to say, Marx's conclusions regarding capitalism cannot amount to an expression, a manifestation of those contradictions.
    I see you are still helping yourself to the word 'contradiction', failing to justify your (or Marx's) use of this word.

    And from there... oh, Marx must have been "kidding" in his use of the word contradiction, because Boza doesn't want to say she's not a Marxist.
    Where did I use the word "kidding"?

    Yet another lie to add to the dozens I have already pointed out.

    So... Marx stating that the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself is not a contradiction to capitalism. To be a contradiction it would have to be phrased as "the emancipation of the working class is an is not the act of the working class itself."
    Well, until you explain why this is a 'contradiction' (when it manifestly isn't), my comments still stand.

    What Boza's "critique" lacks is, above all else, materialism, that is to say.... history. That history is the history of Marx's own critique of Hegel, and the actual history of the organization of labor under capitalism.
    Since my 'critique' takes Historical Materialism as a given, as you have been told many times, this is yet another invention of yours.

    Are you going for the RevLeft record?

    The emancipation of the workers by the workers-- the movement, transformation of the class in itself, to a class for itself, is a contradiction to capitalism based on the historical terms of the organization of labor, where every labor. of the laborers is expropriated, alienated, possessed, and converted into the reproduction of that relation which.... well which furthers expropriation, estrangement [in the material, not psychological, sense] and the accumulation of private property. Here in the self-emancipation of the workers we have a collective social labor of the laborers that stands in direct conflict, antagonism, contradistinction, contradiction to the very essence of the existing social relations of production.
    Alas, until you explain why this odd use of 'contradiction' is justified, you might just as well have posted this:

    The emancipation of the workers by the workers-- the movement, transformation of the class in itself, to a class for itself, is a banana to capitalism based on the historical terms of the organization of labor, where every labor. of the laborers is expropriated, alienated, possessed, and converted into the reproduction of that relation which.... well which furthers expropriation, estrangement [in the material, not psychological, sense] and the accumulation of private property. Here in the self-emancipation of the workers we have a collective social labor of the laborers that stands in direct conflict, antagonism, contradistinction, bananas to the very essence of the existing social relations of production.
    The above version of what you posted is no more nor no less clear than the original.

    [And until you justify your odd use of 'contradiction', I do not need to justify my use of 'banana', either.]

    It's oh so easy, once you jettison history,
    Stop doing it then!

    And here is what you really meant:

    once you jettison the basis for Marx's analysis, the social labor process, to say "dialectical logic" is an oxymoron, is a banana itself, does not conform to the world [that exists only in Boza's mind] of "X is and is not Y." It's oh so easy because there is no logic, no necessary organization, no materialism to capital an its functioning. Everything at issue becomes an issue of language; an issue of the terms used to describe something. So Boza thinks she's being quite clever and logical when she substitutes the non-word "schmontradiction" for banana, because the description of the bananas of capital does not conform to the description of bananas in her logic.
    And it's so much more healthy too!

    Anyway, I haven't criticised you for not conforming to 'my logic' (I do not have one, in fact), but for failing to justify your odd use of 'contradiction'.

    Unless you do, you can moan until the cows next evolve for all the good it will do.

    And from there Boza maintains that it is impossible for those who find her "logic" to be a bit out of correspondence with history to actually defend "dialectics." But of course we do not defend "dialectics" as such.
    And it's obvious you can't.

    We defend Marx's analysis of capitalism,
    So do I, since, as we now know he waved 'goodbye' to the mystical version you dote upon.

    of his exposition of capitalism's own material logic.
    But you have yet to show capitalism is an argument.

    We defend Marx's analysis that that material logic is in the social organization of labor; that that social organization is based on the opposition between labor and the conditions of labor-- the separation of the producers from the means of production;
    In which case, if it is a logic, as you say, then the "social organization of labor" will merely be an argument, and labour itself will be unaffected.

    It hardly needs pointing out: that would, destroy Marx's analysis!

    Perhaps that is what you want.

    Again, I have very kindly translated this next passage of yours into an equally indefensible and obscure form:

    that that separation creates an egg timer where the more wage-labor produces, the less productive, useful, enriching labor is to the laborers; that the separation creates an egg timer where the expropriation of labor power and its conversion into accumulated capital creates the impediments, the obstacles, the barriers, and the extirpation of value, of accumulated capital. We defend the Marx's analysis of the egg timers of capital as Marx described them as an egg timer. We defend Marx's analysis of the egg timers creating the basis, and the necessity, for the abolition of capitalism, an abolition based on capital's own identity. We defend Marx's dialectic.
    But, the original post of yours was simply a touching declaration of blind faith, which is just what one would expect of you consolation seekers.

    After all, your 'theory' is so unbelievably unsuccessful, all you have left is blind faith.

    When Boza says we can't defend "this mystical theory," she is right and she is wrong. We can't defend a mystical theory.
    Then do what Marx did, and ditch it.

    We aren't defending a mystical theory.
    You aren't in fact defending, period...

    You are just regurgitating dialectical catechisms.

    We aren't defending a mystical theory at all, and we can defend Marx's use of dialectic. We engage in that defense every time we analyze, explain the relations between capital and wage-labor; every time we explore the actual processes of accumulation; every time we explain, demonstrate, the antagonism at the root of surplus value. And it's no mystery, and no mistake, that Boza refuses to engage in any part of those arguments.
    As I have pointed out to you many times already, and will keep pointing out for as long as it takes to penetrate that adamantine and dogmatic skull of yours: it's far more important for me to stop the flow of poison into Marxism (of the sort you keep manufacturing) than it is to add yet another 'explanation' of capitalism.

    To do say would take her out of her hermetic cage
    Care to point out what it is about me or my ideas that is 'hermetic'? Or are you, like FHC, content merely to post lies?

    and subject her to the criticism of the merciless logic contained within capital itself.
    Brave words from someone who can't justify 'his' use of a simple word -- nor who can explain why capital is an argument.
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    I refer the readers to Boza's formulations above which confirm, in every aspect, my previous statements.
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    Smarty Pants:

    I refer the readers to Boza's formulations above which confirm, in every aspect, my previous statements.
    Except, we already know you're a liar.
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    You know that, Rosa... like the psychotic knows he or she is Napoleon.
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    Smarty Pants:

    You know that, Rosa... like the psychotic knows he or she is Napoleon.
    In fact I know it nothing like you...
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    I've said in this thread and elsewhere that Rosa Lichtenstein doesn't understand dialectics. But really, it's Rosa who proves this. Let's take a brief look at her mis-treatment of the unity and interpenetration of opposites. This is taken from "Anti-Dialectics for Dummies," who are after all the only people who should accept her "philosophy".

    To see this, let us suppose that object/process A is composed of two 'internal' opposites O* and O**, and A thus changes as a result. But O* cannot itself change into O** since O** already exists! If it didn't already exist, according to this theory, O* could not change, for there would be no opposite to bring this about!

    And it's no good propelling O** into the future so that it becomes what O* will change into, since O* will do no such thing unless O** is already in existence to make that happen!
    This is a complete misreading of the law of unity and interpenetration of opposites. To borrow Rosa's symobology, a contradiction means in essence that an entity A contains internally contradictory tendencies O* and O** which cause A to turn into not-A. The struggle within A is between O* and O**, the internal tendency for it to stay the same (O*) and the internal forces acting on it to change (O**). The whole essence of dialectics is that O* and O** can not exist within a stable equilibrium. Rosa quotes Lenin saying quite clearly that we are not dealing with O* turning into O**, but with the working-out of "internally contradictory tendencies" within A.

    Now, Rosa's going to object that dialectics pictures entities that "struggle with" what they are going to become, which presupposes that these entities already exist. But this is because she fails to distinguish between the realized entities A and not-A, and the internal tendencies O* and O**. When A exists, both O* and O** exist, and struggle with one another. These may be united within a physical object such as a seed, which contains structures that form its O* to keep it a seed, and yet has a tendency O** to transform into its opposite, a seedling. Or they may be united in capitalist society, such as the capitalist class O* which struggles with the working class O** over the control of the means of production. The working out of this contradiction is nothing less than the struggle for socialism.

    Now, Rosa may point out that some presentations of dialectics may say that things "struggle with and become" their opposites. This is looking at the outside - the change from A to not-A, because of the internal tendencies O* and O**. Not-A does not yet exist as a realized entity; it does not need to. The struggle is the internal struggle between O* (which preserves A) and O** (which causes its transformation into not-A). In essence we can say that O** is the seed of the unrealized entity not-A which exists within the realized entity A, and A struggles (in the form of O*) against its transformation into not-A (through the operation of O**).

    Of course, I don't expect Rosa to acknowledge her mistake here. In fact, I'm going to predict that she is going to link me to essays in which she never once deals with the difference between the pair A / not-A and O* / O**, or else throw up a wall of lengthy quotations from her own posts and possibly Mao. But none of that is important. I will only address responses that deal directly, in plain text, with this differentiation and show how the above "critique" functions once it is made.
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